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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

This content is available to you

Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

This content is available to you

Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

Geotourism is tourism based on geological features. It has been variously described as being a type of tourism that is either ‘geological’ or geographical’ in orientation. Whereas the former view was that geotourism was a ‘type’ of tourism in a similar vein to ecotourism, the latter view was wider and encompassed it thereby representing a new ‘approach’ to tourism. In this chapter geotourism is viewed both as a ‘type’ of tourism (with a geological focus) as well as an ‘approach’ to tourism, encompassing a wider geographic view. Thus, it is proposed that geotourism may be viewed through multiple lenses along a geological spectrum which has geotourism as a ‘type’ of tourism at one end, and as an ‘approach’ at the other. Thus, the definition of geotourism has expanded to encompass a number of attributes – geology, tourism, geosites, visits and interpretation. The ‘geo’ or geology part of geotourism includes geological features or attributes which are considered worthy of tourist interest. The ‘tourism’ part refers to the conversion of geological features or attributes into tourism resources as ‘geo’ attractions or tours often at designated ‘geosites’. These can occur in either natural or modified settings such as in rural or urban areas and visits to geological attractions (geo-attractions) could be either independent or on guided tours. The interpretation of geo-attractions occurs through an approach comprising elements of both geology and tourism. The geological elements comprise ‘form’, ‘process’ and ‘time’. These describe the geological tourist attractions of landscape, landform or feature (that is, its form), how it got there or was made (process), and when, or during what period of geological time, it was formed (time).

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Halina Kobryn and David Newsome

Geographic and geological datasets including remotely sensed imagery are increasingly being incorporated in many geotourism projects. These spatial datasets support all key stages of geotourism projects including initial research, planning, management, monitoring design and implementation of the project. In this chapter, we describe selected applications supporting the needs and the activities of planners, managers, scientists through to visitors, using examples from recent projects on the applications of geographic information systems and science (GIS) in geotourism. Spatial data analysis tools and primary data acquisition methods offered by remote sensing are invaluable in mapping and assessing landscapes and its components. A range of tools, applications and datasets are available for planners, managers and users of tourism destinations. Some of the applications include route planning, risk assessment, event planning, site assessment, monitoring.

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David Newsome and Ross Dowling

We reiterate the international perspective and re-visit the overarching topics of ‘geology and tourism’, ‘geotourism, society and sustainability’, ‘geotourism in urban areas’, ‘interpretation and education strategies’, ‘geotourism’s contribution to geoparks’ and ‘case studies in geotourism’. We conclude on a new approach to understanding geotourism which in its narrowest form can be described as geological tourism (a form of tourism) and from a wider perspective can be regarded as geographical tourism (an approach to tourism). Geoparks continue to grow as vehicles for geotourism and the need for best practice management is described. It is acknowledged that geotourism has helped to foster awareness of geodiversity and the need for geo-conservation. Geotourism can be considered to be the next ‘wave’ of tourism.

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Edited by Ross Dowling and David Newsome

Ross Dowling and David Newsome present an original, substantial and much-needed contribution to the field which will further our understanding of geotourism in theory and practice. This Handbook defines, characterises and explores the subject through a range of international perspectives and case studies, identifying geotourism as a rapidly emerging form of urban and regional sustainable development.
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David Newsome and Michael Hughes

We explore the complex spectrum within which ecotourism exists ranging from mass tourism at one end to highly specialized niche tourism at the other. Positive and negative impacts are identified but the nature of such impacts varies according to how ecotourism is understood and interpreted by tour operators and tourists alike. On a larger temporal scale the nature of impacts is influenced by political and socio-economic factors that characterize the areas in which the biodiversity occurs. Protected area areas, such as national parks, play a vital role in conserving biodiversity and tourism is a central tenet of public engagement and conservation in the role of parks themselves. Protected area managers have an active role to play in promoting sustainable tourism and in the provision and maintenance of visitor facilities. Potential negative impacts of tourism on biodiversity often interact with wider landscape-level impacts such as pest animals and fire regimes that compromise biodiversity conservation. We conclude this chapter with an exploration of the implications for Environmental Impact Assessment of these complex characteristics of ecotourism and its interaction with biodiversity. Considerations include understanding: the impacts of ecotourism on biodiversity at various scales; the role of people’s perceptions in what is regarded as an impact; and the cumulative effects of a number of land uses, of which tourism is only one, on biodiversity.

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David Newsome and Kate Rodger